Register with us or sign in
We have tides because of the gravitational pull of the moon. It is also known to affect human behaviour - hence the term lunatics - so why would it not also have an effect on water tables in the earth?
Whether it does affect gardening activities will never be resolved scientifically as there is no commercial interest in any of the big agri firms in doing so. We thus have to rely on anecdotal evidence form those who practise it over long periods and there is a wealth of old and new literature on the subject dating back to ancient Egyptian texts.
I suspect it's of importance to farmers and peasants with limted resources of machinery, fertiliser, weed killer, water for irrigation and so on who need to maximise their crop fertility but of far less import to those of us who garden in the developed world with plenty of resources. I would remind you though that our climate is changing, that population pressures, particularly in the south east, make water an increasingly precious and expensive resource. Unusual floods and droughts around the world mean this year's harvests are poor so fruit, corn and veg will be more expensive to buy and I suspect that one day rather more of us will be embracing old and new methods of making the most of our crops whilst limiting our impact on the planet's resources and ecology.
After all, it's not so many years ago that everyone thought going organic was bonkers and just look at how many of us avoid chemicals on our food crops and flowers for our own sake and for wildlife.
Don't be daft! It isn't gardening by moonlight!
It's gardening according to the phases of the moon. The simplest is simply the waxing phase for planting things that do their stuff above ground - leaves, flowers and fruit - and the waning for plants whose roots are of interest so taking cuttings and divisions and sowing or planting root veg.
Then there's the more complicated version using the relative position of the moon in the sky from one night to the next. When it's rising, plant or sow above ground plants. When it's descending, rooty stuff.
And finally the bio-rythmic version which takes into account the moon's passage through the zodiac - Air signs for flowers, Earth signs for roots, Fire signs for fruits and Water signs for foliage. This version also has best days for harvesting crops for keeping.
There are also days when it's best just to do garden maintenance and not sow, plant or harvest anything and days when it's best to go out and have fun or read a catalogue.
But you don't know if it makes no difference unless you keep an "anti-moon gardening diary". I'd like to garden by the moon but like you say it's a question of having time when the weather is right. In France they give away free gardening by the moon calendars in the local gardening shops, so if a whole nation follows it, there must be something in it - mustn't there? Don't answer! Anyway for all we know if we did do everything right and followed the moon maybe the leeks would be 2 inches diameter, really tasty and tender and th tomatoes wouldn't succomb to blight - who knows unless soemone volunteers to split their garden in two - full moon and new moon.
Penguen wrote (see)
..., there must be something in it - mustn't there? ...
..., there must be something in it - mustn't there? ...
Taking an objective and rational view there definitely IS a serious phenomena here. Beliefs about the moon are, at the very least, affecting some gardeners. Gardeners are buying these calendars (apparently) and some of them are changing their gardening behaviour accordingly. This is a real socio-horticultural phenomena, which cannot be denied.
You then need to start asking where these ideas came from. And you get led to books such as one quoted in an earlier post. The eminent historian Simon Schama described that point in history as the point at which gardening became a branch of philosophy. It still is. But this is all very serious stuff, and people who just want to grow a few sweet peas and potatoes, don't really need to worry about it.
same as they use to put sheets out bleach on moonlit night before good old washing powder.
Who knows?we plant by seasons and weather conditions,just think how exciting to be gardening at night by the moon.you would have bats and owls and all night things and your neighbours would love it when you started the mower up.
Well, I have to say, I was really happy to see this post up I have been a practising white (Well, more green) witch for 18 years and have heard it works. I have seen a number of articles on the topic and am now working out how I can use it in my craftwork. You can sow certain seeds at the different sabbats to encourage a number of things. I love the idea and will be trying this after researching it an planning ahead. May be next years project as this year I have been too impatient lol.
Im recording everything this year and have a book of shadows just for the garden. They did an experiment with sweet peas on a programme some years ago and it was a huge success. The sweet peas that were planted by the moon was a third stronger and it had almost 3x the amount of flowers.
I used moon cycles for sowing all my seeds a few years ago and had excellent germination results. I then tried using the moon cycles to determine what I did in the garden on a given day and again had good results. I didn't keep records but I did generally find my time was more productive if only because having set out to weed or prick out, or lift and divide, prune and so on, that was what I did without being distracted by other jobs.
Last year I had to have surgery for a slipped disc and that severely limited my time in the garden. This year it's surgery for new feet so my garden is now a weedy, overgrown mess. When I do get back out there I'll be following the lunar cycle so I concentrate my energies on doing one job well at a time and I won't be staring at the rest and feeling overwhelmed.
There's an easy calendar guide here - http://www.the-gardeners-calendar.co.uk/Moon_Planting.asp
Thanks for the link Obelixx, I have had a wee read but bookmarked it on the computer as this will come in handy. Im sorry to hear of your injury and hope you get back on your feet soon.
Thanks Sam. Just need some patience. Have fun with the link. I tend to use the biodynamic version as it splits activities into leaves, flowers, fuits and roots which I find easy to stick to.